(Review originally written at 17 November 2007)
The movie is not as good and effective with its shots as a Sergei Eisenstein movie for instance. You can see in parts that this movie was really influenced by Eisenstein's earlier work, also in the way of camera-work and editing. But nevertheless the movie has some obvious other qualities of its own that make this a great viewing experience.
I liked the way the movie progressed. Yes, of course it's propaganda but that doesn't make the storytelling within the movie any less great. It isn't the fastest going movie and it takes its time to establish thing, also with the help of long shots of the countryside and other nature elements and symbolisms, which in essence this movie is of course all about.
Of course Russian movie making techniques were a couple of years behind in those days. The quality looks about as good as Hollywood movies from the '20's but I like this, since it also shows that Russian movies from those days had a completely different style and approach, then anywhere else in the world. It always makes it refreshing and something totally different to watch a Russian movie from the '20's/'30's.
it's a bit of a dark movie though and you can wonder if it isn't a bit too dark. Death is an important element in this movie and apparently the dark themes within the movie were also the reason why many Russians at the time didn't very much enjoyed this movie.
Really worth seeing for its imagery and the way the story slowly progresses.